In addition 2008 we began providing localized student support and recruiting services via proprietary and contracted learning centers. In China, there are currently an estimated total of over 5000 learning centers. Most of them are affiliated with and are part of the provincial radio and television university learning centers. The rest of the learning centers are independently operated. In 2006, ChinaEdu became one of the only three institutions approved by the MOE to establish and operate a learning center network across China.
As of June 30, 2011, the ChinaEdu learning center network was providing online degree programs for 21 universities with 100 operational learning centers, of which 57 were proprietary centers and 43 were contracted centers..We also offer our programs to a number of learning centers in Guangxi and Fujian provinces through our radio and television university partnerships. The following map shows the coverage of our learning centers.
As mentioned in our introduction to our online degree programs, we currently serve 19 universities through our learning centers network as shown below:
We receive a fixed portion of the tuition (generally 30% to 50%) collected for the online degree programs that we offer through these learning centers. For the proprietary learning centers, we also bear the costs of operating the learning centers. Each learning center typically offers three or four universities’ online degree programs.
Learning centers assist universities with a number of vital functions for the online degree programs, including marketing, enrollment administration, student services and tuition collection. Learning centers also provide academic review sessions and technical support for students. The physical presence of learning centers is complementary to online distance learning, since it facilitates face-to-face tutorial sessions, student consultations, and course material distribution. Learning centers also ensure the integrity of examinations, as entrance exams and final exams are conducted on site at the learning centers, allowing testing to occur in controlled environments. The learning center network is an important part of our online degree programs and we will continue to expand both our geographic coverage and online degree programs offered.
As part of our strategy to expand the learning centers network, in 2009, we entered into exclusive collaborative alliance agreements with Guangxi Radio and TV University (“GRTU”) and Fujian Radio and TV University (“FRTU”), which are extensions of the China Central Radio and TV University (“CCTVU”) system that delivers courses to students primarily over satellite and television. ChinaEdu is now able to exclusively offer our partner online degree programs through the network of learning centers in Guangxi province and Fujian province.